Bengaluru-based children footwear brand D2C Plaeto has raised INR 40 Cr($5 million) in a Series A funding round led by Florintree Advisors with participation from other investors. The startup plans to use the funds to expand into new markets and bring new products to its catalogue.
Founded in 2020 by Ravi Kallayil, Sara Kilgore and Pavan Kareti, Plaeto designs and sells footwear for children. The startup takes an omnichannel approach and sells on major e-commerce platforms alongside its website. Plaeto also has a B2B2C front, which it uses to work with schools and educational institutes for uniform shoes.
The startup claims to take an eco-friendly approach to make its shoes; Plaeto’s website claims that its shoes have 50% less environmental impact than the average sports shoe, with 6.5 kilograms of CO2 per pair produced. The startup also has several proprietary features designed specifically for children’s growing feet.
First, the FitSystem features a proprietary fit liner that allows the user to get a larger size from the same product. Second, Plaeto365 is another proprietary part of the shoe which is the midsole. Finally, the D2C brand has Plaeto FitWiz, which is a recommendation engine and recommends shoe sizes based on the child’s measurements.
Ravi Kallayil, Co-founder and CEO of Plaeto, said, “As a technology-driven D2C footwear brand, we have always focused on science-based footwear and innovation that meets India’s requirements. While innovation has taken place across the board, including footwear, children’s footwear as a category has remained untouched without any consumer-focused design or performance built into it.”
“The company is seeing high interest from schools and online channels. We’re experiencing two-fold digital growth online month-on-month. We would like to serve five million consumers in the next five years,” Kallayil added
Within e-commerce, D2C has become a fast-growing subsector, driven by companies such as Mamaearth, BoAt, Lenskart and WOW Skin Science, among others. This subsector has seen significant funding activity over the past few quarters, raising $3.6 billion in funding since 2014.